Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy birthday, Anna Katharine Green.

Often dubbed "the mother of detective fiction," pioneering American mystery author Anna Katharine Green was born on November 11, 1846. She died in 1935 and is buried in Buffalo.

Her bestselling novel The Leavenworth Case (1878) has been taught in law schools to illustrate the deceptiveness of circumstantial evidence. I'm particularly fond of her books featuring intrepid spinster sleuth Amelia Butterworth (That Affair Next Door [1897], Lost Man's Lane [1898], and The Circular Study [1900]) and The Golden Slipper and Other Problems for Violet Strange (1915), in which Strange investigates cases in her New York social circle (I like the case where Strange appears at the crime scene in a ballgown--not exactly the wear we expect of a detective). Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Roberts Rinehart, and Agatha Christie were all avid Green fans.
"I . . . realized that it would never do for me to lose my wits in the presence of a man who had none too many of his own."---Amelia Butterworth, That Affair Next Door

No comments: